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Volume 04 – on cultivating community

Community is easy to talk about, harder to pin down, and harder still to build. In a modern world filled with consumer options and competing life experience we simultaneously long for and resist opening our lives to others. Community has been an intangible but constantly present feature of human life across cultures and time periods, but it requires longevity, localism, sacrifice, kindness, and generosity— habits of heart we are beginning to feel the lack of.

This volume of Flint & Steel aims to look at what community is, and what is in the soil where it grows. What does community offer to us? What are the conditions of place, time, and purpose that community requires in order to grow and survive?

Whether it is creating a built environment that encourages us to make new connections, encountering our neighbour by reaching out to another culture, or seeing the face of the neighbours we are tempted to erase or forget, like prisoners, the very young, or the very old, we are all partly responsible for creating the community which will help us thrive. Whether it is through sport, a creative project, or community action, civil society in all its variety offers a thousand points of connection, a thousand ways of drawing the self into a wider and kinder whole.

 

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